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By Jay R. Howard

Apostles of Rock is the 1st aim, complete exam of the modern Christian song phenomenon. a few see CCM performers as ministers or musical missionaries, whereas others outline them as entertainers or artists. This well known musical move sincerely inspires numerous responses in regards to the dating among Christ and tradition. The ensuing tensions have splintered the style and given upward thrust to false impression, clash, and an obsessive specialise in self-examination. As Christian stars Amy supply, Michael W. Smith, DC speak, and Sixpence None the Richer climb the mainstream charts, Jay Howard and John Streck speak about CCM as an enormous stream and exhibit how this musical style pertains to a bigger pop culture. They map the area of CCM via bringing jointly the views of the folks who practice, research, marketplace, and hear this track. by means of studying CCM lyrics, interviews, performances, websites, and chat rooms, Howard and Streck discover the non secular and aesthetic tensions in the CCM neighborhood. finally, the clash established round Christian track displays the fashionable spiritual community's realizing of evangelicalism and the community's complicated courting with American pop culture.

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Additional info for Apostles of Rock: The Splintered World of Contemporary Christian Music

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While the development of CCM is frequently discussed as a simple, linear progression-first there was church music, then there was rock, and then church music and rock combined to form CCM-the fact of the matter is that these "streams" twist, turn, merge, separate, dive underground, change names, and merge yet again. Metaphorically speaking, then, the history of CCM is not a history of merging streams but of woven threads. When CCM was born, church music and rock and roll did not cease to exist but rather continued on their own evolutionary paths.

The room goes black. The crowd goes wild. Screams and shouting bounce from the sanctuary walls. Fog pours from the stage, music begins to play, and the crowd is instantly on its feet. Suddenly, spotlights blaze and illuminate the figure of Rebecca St. " After two more songs, this mahoganytressed, nineteen-year-old "evangelist in waiting" waits no longer. 1 She stops singing and begins to describe the message God has sent her. " St. James throws her hands heavenward as the lights behind her come on to transform her into a striking silhouette.

Aesthetics, too, has been a basis for critique; and defenders of the aesthetic tradition, both inside and outside the church, have condemned Christian rock as an inferior form of music. These criticisms center around three themes. First, it is argued that CCM should be rejected because it is too commercial and hence inappropriate for religious use; second, that Christian rock inevitably presents a shallow and distorted version of the gospel; and finally, that Christian rock, by the standards of rock music more generally, is mediocre at best; it is a pale imitation of the real thing.

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